The passion and drive of dedicated entrepreneurs is reflected in the hard work they put into their businesses. But burnout can result if you work too hard and too long without ever taking a break.
These seven entrepreneurs employ simple stress-relief tactics — by getting moving or resetting their mindsets — when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Bonus: They won’t take more than five minutes.
When your mind is overloaded with stress, doing something physical can provide much-needed relief. “Extensive research provides evidence that exercise — even short bursts — releases stress and relaxes the body,” says Kristopher Jones, founder of SEO company LSEO.com.
“That’s why I get my body moving when I start to feel overwhelmed at work,” he says. “I have exercise equipment at my office, but when I’m short on time I simply do pushups and situps.”
“There are many ways to calm your mind when feeling overwhelmed. The technique that works best for me is listening to music,” says Stanley Meytin, CEO and creative director of production company True Film Production. Listening to just one song can energize you and provide a mental reset.
“There is one song that I listen to when I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed,” he says. “I take the three or so minutes and just listen. It helps calm my mind and prioritize my thoughts. Every time I hear the song, it’s like hitting a reset button.”.
Beth Doane, managing partner of communications agency Main & Rose, likes to clear her mind and get moving throughout the day. That’s why she keeps a mini trampoline in her office.
“One of my clients is a fitness expert who taught me that rebounding on a mini trampoline throughout the day circulates oxygen through the body, normalizes blood pressure, aids lymphatic circulation and leads to better mental performance,” she says. “I was skeptical at first, but now I swear by it. You can have one delivered to your door via Amazon.”
Sometimes all you need to do is get away from the stressful task at hand. Cody McLain, CEO of customer care outsourcing company SupportNinja, advises setting a timer to give yourself a few minutes off.
“It could be taking a water break, watching a YouTube video, completing a BuzzFeed quiz or reading an article. Just give yourself four minutes to do something that is completely unrelated to what’s stressing you out,” he says. “Ironically, when I’m feeling burned out, I take solace in reading about what’s going on in the industry on Bloomberg or TechCrunch.”
“Take a walk, even if it’s just around the hallway, to clear your mind,” says Nicole Munoz, founder and CEO of SEO and marketing company StartRankingNow. Stepping away from the screen and getting your blood flowing is refreshing for both body and mind..
“Clearing your mind allows you to come back to a problem or challenge with fresh eyes,” she says. “In fact, a great strategy is to set a timer for 50 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a walk and you’ll come back ready to go.”
Ben Camerota, president of custom visuals supplier MVP Visuals, uses the Headspace app for guided meditation when he’s feeling overwhelmed. Meditation is something you can do from anywhere, so it’s great for entrepreneurs on the go.
“It features ‘one-off’ meditations that are three minutes each. These get me in the right mindset when I’m overwhelmed and need a short break,” he says. “The best part? They aren’t location-dependent and have offerings focused on when the listener is walking, driving or flying.”
Having games in the office is a good way to blow off steam and boost your creativity. Andrew Gowasack, CEO of identity verification tool Trust Stamp, gets the whole team involved when morale takes a dip.
“Have a simple and active game available in your office. My team and I love foosball and Nerf wars,” he says. “These activities only take five minutes and often put everyone in a better mood. I have found that my creativity is improved after these games.”
Whether you want to launch an idea, spark a movement or simply get people talking about what you do, you have one shot
at delivering your message in a way that matters. Let’s make sure you do it right.